As someone who has seen a lot during my tenure in the marketing and communications space, I have learnt a multitude of lessons while traversing the evolutions of this fast-paced sector. Of these, several have lingered in my mind of late, especially after spending time with many of the UAE’s inspiring community-driven initiatives.
I believe these special learnings have the transformative ability to empower all. Our responsibilities as marketers go far beyond the day-to-day roles we immerse ourselves in. At an organisational level, those of us in positions to engage and empower a wider strata of society need to value the role of stimulus we can play.
Firstly, as business leaders of large corporations, we are in a privileged position to extend our knowledge and skillsets. Having amassed years of understanding across various subject matters related to our professions, the most valuable tool we can gift the UAE’s communities is the power of knowledge.
The community and charity-driven organisations have incredibly engaging, positive, candid experiences and stories to share. These are the stories worth telling, and as marketing professionals we need to pave the way forward for these to be told. This starts with educating and reducing their knowledge deficit.
Organisations like these are extremely respondent to understanding better communications methodology to apply to raising brand and cause awareness. Community initiatives and organisations make up a large part of our societal fabric. So, by channelling our time and energy into these, we can share, educate and strengthen their projects and initiatives, which play a genuine role in integrating society.
Secondly, we must become excellent listeners. The undertaking of societal integration and enablement cannot be fully understood without opening our ears and hearing which community projects need to succeed. One half of the communications process involves listening.
So, to get their messages right and to tell the stories that need to be told about the various causes they represent, we need to listen to fully embrace their causes and what they stand for. These organisations make up a large proportion of the UAE, and as socially responsible thought-leaders we are indebted to their undeterred efforts to make the UAE a better place for all who call it home.
Last of all, we must continue to inspire and engage to ensure the continuity and growth of these important facets of our society. There is no better way to perform this than by applying the knowledge we have attained and instilling through inspiring acts of leadership. Like the founding fathers of the UAE, as well as the leading figures who run the UAE today, we must collaborate and lead with purpose to project the visions they have for these strong causes.
We must empower community initiatives to be able to share their amazing stories and insights. And we must take the time to offer assistance and direction on navigating the communications pathways, ones that are well-trodden, but intimidating to newcomers looking to grow their presence amid the hustle and bustle of the world.
As brand, communications, and marketing visionaries, our leadership must grow beyond the walls of our organisations to effect transformative change for our community partners and the projects they undertake.
Sharing our learnings, listening with intent, and leading with influence is in the best interests of ourselves as industry leaders and of the wider society. These actions are also akin to the visions of the UAE leadership, who continue to restate the importance of instilling a spirit of unity and inclusivity for an enriched tomorrow.
The importance of bringing everybody together — whether it be charities, educational institutions or community organisations — is detrimental to the social progress of the UAE. It is our job to link arms and share the stories of these quietly innovative, yet truly inspirational players to proliferate positive change throughout our country.
Therefore, there is no cost of learning, listening and leading with true purpose — this is a small gesture of time for us, but creates a world of opportunity and meaningful development for those who need it most.
— Abdulwahed Juma is Executive Vice-President, Brand & Corporate Communications, du.